NIH research model predicts weight with varying diet, exercise changes
An online weight simulation tool shows what happens when people of varying weights, diets and exercise habits try to change their weight.
Akinso: Recent findings are challenging the one-size-fits-all weight assumptions and have led to an on-line weight simulation tool. NIH researchers have created a mathematical model which predicts weight changes when people diet or exercise.
Hall: So what this mathematical model does is calculate how those changes of diet and physical activity will result in changes of body weight and fat mass in different people.
Akinso: Dr. Kevin Hall is a researcher at the NIH.
Hall: So basically itís simulating the changes in human metabolism that take place when people go on different diets or different physical activity programs.
Akinso: The online simulation tool is based on the model and enables researchers to accurately predict how body weight will change and what it will likely take to reach weight goals based on a starting weight and estimated physical activity. Dr. Hall explains how researchers tested the model.
Hall: We made certain predictions about what would happen if our model is basically fed the same diet as those real people were fed and then compared the model predictions to the actual measurements. And that provided us with some validation because the predications matched the measurements quite well.
Akinso: The findings challenge the commonly held belief that eating 3,500 fewer calories or burning them off exercising will always result in a pound of weight loss.
Hall: So what that rule, which has been you know ubiquitous, fails to consider is the fact that as I lose weight my metabolism slows down. And so the rate of weight loss is drastically over estimated. So our models are really trying to help improve the predictions and provide new methods for helping assess what a realistic amount of weight loss would be expected for a given change of diet.
Akinso: Dr. Hall says with this model, clinicians can help people re-evaluate their goals and ability to achieve them at the pace they want. If you would like to check out the online simulation tool, visit http://bwsimulator.niddk.nih.gov/ . This is Wally Akinso at the NIH, Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Wally Akinso
Sound Bite: Dr. Hall
Topic: Weight, loss, dieting, diet, exercise